Hello Everyone, You have all been in our thoughts and hearts. We hope everyone is well and focusing on building your physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual health. This is a difficult time for everyone, but especially for the committed professionals who have embraced the responsibility for caring for us all: everyone in healthcare, and also our teachers, who have pursued their purpose to educate and inspire no matter what. Let’s all do our best in their honor, and continue our quest to “Be the Best of the Best”.
As your teacher, of course I am thinking about how to best continue to teach you during this challenge in a meaningful way that will improve your life. I have reflected on this. A lot. I believe that I have taught you well, with my whole heart, to this moment. (and we have posted a daily at-home practice schedule to remind you.) If this is true, then all of the advanced students, all of you, are already keeping your martial arts close to you with daily practice. You know, we are not your gym or your group exercise/sports/entertainment center; We are Your Dojhang: Place of Art, Place of Discipline, Self-discovery, enlightenment. YOU are the Dojhang: The Dojhang is within you!
Waiting Patiently, Have Inay
For now, I believe it is time for us to become quiet. To listen and wait patiently, to have “Inay” (patience, persistence, perseverance) for the good of all. Musashi, the great Samurai once said, “Think lightly of yourself; think greatly of the world.” This of course does not mean neglecting your self-care, not at all. On the contrary, now is the time to nurture strength of body, mind and spirit. To reflect, challenge and think.
I am reminded of lessons I learned as a very young at-home practice schedule, Korean proverbs, that helped to shape the person I am today, just as these experiences we are having will continue to shape our lives. Basically, the lesson is what we now know as a “silver lining”: with everything bad, there is always a blessing, or as the character in the Korean proverb discovered:
“새옹지마라는 말을 항상 생각하다 보니, 언제부터인가 기쁜 일이 생겨도 자만하지 말고 준비하고, 슬픈 일이 있어도 괴로워하지 말고 노력하는 사람으로 변해 있었다.
Translation: Always remember that an evil may sometimes turn out to be a blessing in disguise, or vice versa. I cannot remember when, but I started to prepare for the future even though something good happens, and not to be sorrowful and try my best to be better even though there is something bad.”
We are now evaluating the best platform we can use to help us interface together online using the talent of our community. Please reach out if you are able to help with this. Meanwhile, continue with your daily at-home practice program (previously posted) – suit-up in your dobok at your regular practice time.
Most importantly, stay well, be healthy, and continue to follow your creed!
Sincerely and with Much NinjaLove,
Your Teacher, GrandMaster Yu
PS: I am sure you have all prepared your essay. We would love to see them! You can either forward your handwritten essay, post a video, or, forward a typed version if you would like us to consider publishing your essay.